It’s the coldest time of the year to be outside as we’re often stuck in subzero temperatures and painfully freezing wind chills. As cold as it is outside, things are heating up in high school gyms and hockey rinks all over the state. We are in the grind of the conference season all across Minnesota.
Zach Parise said it’s 50-50 if he can come back by Thursday night against Chicago. Meanwhile, the team continues to ask Darcy Keumper to try and keep the gate closed at goalie. So far, it’s been a welcomed challenge.
It’s not an Olympic event, but those who play it hope it will be someday. For now, they’d settle for Americans just knowing it exists. The sport is bandy, and it’s kind of like hockey. And speedskating. And broomball. And soccer, with 11 players a side, and a rink the size of a soccer field.
The 8th annual Hockey Day Minnesota took place on Saturday starting with a trio of high school games in Elk River, Minn. That was followed by a game at Mariucci Arena between Ohio State and Minnesota, with the nightcap taking place at Xcel Energy Center between the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars.
Nate Prosser scored his third career goal at 2:42 of overtime, lifting the Minnesota Wild over the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night. Prosser netted the winning score for the second time in as many games, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 33 shots. Erik Haula and Ryan Suter also scored for the Wild. Ryan Garbutt and Alex Chiasson scored for the slumping Stars, who have only one win in their last nine games. Kari Lehtonen made 16 saves.
The all-day celebration of Minnesota’s official sport is underway across the State of Hockey on Saturday. Outdoor hockey is at its finest at picturesque Handke Pit in Elk River. Mayor John Dietz says it’s a special venue with a lot of history. “You know, it’s kind of a rebirth of how the sport was born. It’s just a unique type of thing,” Dietz said.
A siren wails on a frozen Lake Nokomis, signaling the half-way point in a fast-paced game. Blue skies and bright sun greet nearly 2,000 pond hockey faithful. Over the next few days, they will play like they did as kids. According to tournament’s co-commissioner Justin Kaufenberg, the competition is fast and, at times, furious on the lake’s 25 rinks.
The cold didn’t stop thousands of hockey fans from filling TCF Bank Stadium for the Hockey City Classic. Friday afternoon’s match-up marks the first time that hockey has been played outside at the University of Minnesota in more than 80 years. The Gopher women took on the Mavericks of Minnesota State University – Mankato in the early evening, while the Gopher men will face off against Ohio State University at 8 p.m.
Mike Zimmer meets the media today at 11 on WCCO. Listen to Mike Max’s sports by clicking the above link.
History tonight for the first outdoor game at the U of M in 80 years. Listen to Gopher Men’s Hockey Coach Don Lucia talk with Dave Lee about the game.
TCF Bank Stadium will hold an outdoor doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Hockey City Classic, featuring the Minnesota Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team took to the ice late Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s game. It was also a chance to see the ice at nightfall, checking out the sight lines under the lights. Coach Dan Lucia says there will be one other element in play that’s a bit more distracting than the waning sunlight.
The University of Minnesota is getting ready to host its first outdoor hockey game in modern history. The top-ranked Gopher men’s team will host the 2014 Hockey City Classic on Friday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The act of embracing winter is what makes living in Minnesota bearable. And for many, it means standing alongside an outdoor hockey rink. Thousands of folks are doing just that in Elk River this week, site of the 2014 Hockey Day in Minnesota events. The city was chosen in large part due to the historic Handke Stadium, where organized hockey began in Elk River nearly 60 years ago.
Jamie Langenbrunner has retired after a 16-year NHL career in which he won two Stanley Cups. The 38-year-old right wing from Cloquet, Minn., played for Dallas, New Jersey and St. Louis. He won NHL titles with Dallas in 1999 and New Jersey in 2003. He was on the U.S. Olympic team in 1998 and 2010. Langenbrunner announced his retirement Wednesday in a statement by the NHL Players Association, thanking coaches and teammates for “helping a kid from Minnesota enjoy a long, fulfilling hockey career.”
On Friday night, “The Bank” will turn into “The Rink.” TCF Bank stadium, typically home to Gopher football, has been taken over by the state of hockey. It’s called the Hockey City Classic, and WCCO wanted to know what it took to create the rink, plus who gets to skate on it.